Persons granted leave refugee protection in the UK can apply for settlement / ILR after 5, 6 or 10 years...
The Indefinite Leave to Remain as a refugee application can be submitted to the Home Office, UKBA on the foundation of the 5 years of residing in the UK as an acknowledged refugee; as is contained under the 1951 United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees. This application should be made using the Form SET (Protection) and submitted to the Home Office, UKBA within 30 days from the date at which your leave to remain in the UK as a refugee expired.
Late application will lead to termination of your authorized leave to remain as a refugee in the UK; the Home office, UKBA will then carryout a critical review of your case, which may lead to the revoking of your status, and your removal from the UK. Note that there is no Home Office fee attached to the SET (Protection) application form.
It is important to note that the migrant is now required to undergo an official review after 5 years in order to obtain Indefinite Leave to remain under this route. This development was greeted with a lot reservations as it implied kicking refugees back to the countries they flee. Understanding that the Home Office granted their initial refugee application on the basis that they had shown that they were indeed fleeing persecution or conflict adds a different perspective to this.
Maurice Wren, Refugee council's chief opined that this would effectively be tantamount to the Home Office issuing a death certificate to these refugees and that the government should be more sensitive about what it really means to give protection to refugees; as this new rule goes against the very tenets of refugee protection.
It is also important to note, especially if you are looking to make the application yourself that the right form to use is the Form SET (Protection Route), this can be downloaded from the Home Office website. Submitting with the wrong form will result in your application been returned as invalid.
Also, there is no extra fee payable when applying for indefinite leave to remain or settlement under this route. You should also endeavour to retain a copy of your immigration status document before submitting the form as well as any associated document by registered post.
Should you need any immigration help, please speak to one of our immigration lawyers today for a free consultation.
Generally, applications would normally take 6 months, however this date may vary depending on the volume of application at the Home Office. Currently 95% of applications are processed within 6 months. It is also important to note that your records will be checked with the police. Persons with strong convictions are likely to have issues especially when applying for a passport.
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